The Penniless Pensioner: Clipping Wine Coupons

CREW CouponBy Robert K Stephen (CSW)

(TORONTO, ON) – I am not quite a fossil yet, but I recall lining up in Safeway in Vancouver with cousins Jane and Joanne in 1965 to buy cans of chicken for 39 cents. Cooked chicken in a can!

Can you imagine? An entire chicken in a can.

We all lined up separately so we could each buy the maximum of three cans per person. I am not quite sure what that chicken tasted like but I do recall the special mania and the coupon clipping of the 1960’s. We were far from destitute, but the adults seemed always to be looking for a deal.

The deal mentality still exists and is accompanied by the grocery flier.

I just paid $1.69 a pound for Minneola oranges at Coppas, but then I cruise by Superstore and there they are at $1.29 a pound, advertised in their flyer; 49 cent remorse.

So it pays off to keep an eye on those flyers and to act accordingly if you have the time, and don’t burn up your savings in excess gas costs.

The deal hunting for food can be fun. It can almost be a hobby. A saving money hobby.

What’s not to like? Particularly for a penniless pensioner who is never too far away from a tin of cat food?

Flyers are on line now, so you can plan your strategy before hitting the road.

I know a few people who are embarrassed by going to a store and buying the specials. They feel a bit self-conscious buying only eight packets of pasta at 39 cents instead of the $1.99 regular price. To those shy people I say, “These are large, faceless corporations that pay their checkout clerks minimum wage unless, of course, a union is involved. Take advantage of the bargain.”

If you have time, as a penniless pensioner, you may want to clip coupons to save even more money.

I rarely see the coupon clippers at the cash register but, if you believe some of those stories in the yellow press, you can save thousands by so doing.

What caught my eye recently was an apparently audacious attack on the LCBO by Costco Canada.

Costco is the largest liquor distributor in the United States. It delivers quality wines and spirits at low prices. Oh, how I wish they could distribute liquor in Ontario and give us consumers a break from a series of greedy political parties that eschew free speech, consumer choice and protection, and free flow of goods. Yet, when it comes to liquor out of their greedy, monopolistic grasp, a very anti-capitalist, pro monopoly tune is the play of the day.

Gambling, booze and, soon, dope. Is this is what the modern state is built upon? Of course, it’s all going to needy orphans and hospitals.

Costco Canada’s attack on the LCBO is a clever one, benefitting the consumer, but perhaps squeezing the winery that needs to accommodate Costco’s cut.

It works like this.

Assuming you are a Costco member, and there is an annual membership fee, you pay $79.99 to buy a gift certificate you can use at 28 participating wineries; almost all in Ontario. The value of the gift certificate is $100, so you are getting a discount of $20 on your purchases.

I am not quite certain how the LCBO puts up with such insolence, but I suspect they lose nothing. They never do.

Correct me, if I am wrong, but I think the wineries get squeezed. Nonetheless, a nice little break for the consumer in Ontario.

Check out the Costco programme.

Of course, absolute economic free trade in winery to consumer shipping encouraged by the recent amendments to the Federal Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act remains sneered at by all provinces, save British Columbia and Manitoba.

The Feds want free liquor distribution between provinces subject, unfortunately, to provincial liquor laws. Under the federal Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act, one is permitted to import, for personal use but, as permitted by the laws of the destination province, which means the provinces can squash the free trade in wine favoured by the federal government.

No winery direct to public shipping In Canada, so the provinces make a mockery of the federal law. There is a personal exemption as long as certain criteria are met.

The importation of wine, beer or spirits from a province by an individual, if the individual brings the wine, beer or spirits or causes them to be brought into another province, in quantities and as permitted by the laws of the other province, for his or her personal consumption, and not for resale or other commercial use.

Vote for the Liberals in the next Federal election and there’ll be legal dope, but wine? OMG, can you imagine the corruption?

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About the Author

Robert Stephen (CSW)
Robert Stephen (CSW)
Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he loves The Square. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."Email Robert Stephen